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Articles: 1979 Articles

1994 - 1979 Please Stand By
'Please Stand By' is the second and final album from L.A hard rockers 1994, featuring the rather lovely Karen Lawrence.

AC/DC - 1979 Highway To Hell
The album that finally broke AC/DC in the U.S. would of course prove to be the final studio appearance of Bon Scott before he died in 1980.

Accept - 1979 Accept
For me, 'Accept' has always been a charming period-piece, and it was their first album that I ever bought, so with that in mind, I have tracked their career from the outset, rather than being introduced to the band halfway through.

Airborne - 1979 Airborne
Though they are from LA, the multitracked guitar sound/tone is very similar to the Scholz/Goudreau twin attack from Boston, while the vocal harmonies could be the Nelson twins, albeit ten years earlier. Airborne's sound is quite unique, and I'm finding it difficult to describe it as the songs are unique in themselves.

Alien (USA 70's) - 1979 Sons Of The Universe
'Sons Of The Universe' is an excellent AOR/pop/disco crossover released at a time when such things in the post 'Saturday Night Fever' world were commonplace

Angel - 1979 Sinful
One of the ultimate legends of AOR, Angel were the band that should have been a huge commercial success but were not.

Anka, Paul - 1979 Headlines
Not exactly a west coast classic, but an unusual record that has it's moments. 'Headlines' rocks with an ear on AOR radio obviously, leading me to believe that Foreigner and Toto got some notice from the veteran lounge singer or maybe it was just record company meddling? Probably the latter but just a guess?

April Wine - 1979 Harder.. Faster..
This is an extremely likeable album, and along with their next pairing: 'The Nature Of The Beast' and 'Power Play', things became a whole lot more interesting from this Canadian band.

Aviary - 1979 Aviary
Described as a classic amalgam of art rock meets pomp.. and you know what? Whoever said it - well, they'd be right!

Axe - 1979 Axe
After having annoyed the mid-west press everywhere between Minneapolis and Milwaukee, the band Babyface skulked into hiding, and popped their heads up in Florida the following year in search of inspiration, insight, and a record deal. Axe became their moniker and a harder form of rock became their calling. Having heard Babyface, it's staggering the change in quality over the two year period.

Bachman Turner Overdrive - 1979 Rock N Roll Nights
It's a shame B.T.O. had reached the 'end of the line' themselves when this album was released, as there was a ton of promise on display for further albums.

Badfinger - 1979 Airwaves
AOR fans might find more to like in the later version of this classic band.

Bardens, Peter - 1979 Heart To Heart
Proggy types looking for something more challenging might want to set their sights elsewhere as 'Heart To Heart' runs the gamut between light fusion and late 70s style AOR. That's a good thing right?

Barooga Bandit - 1979 Come Softly
This lot came from Detroit, had associations to Bob Seger and Flash Kahan, and released one album on Capitol. Then there was the gig with U2.. (??)

Benatar, Pat - 1979 In The Heat Of The Night
Coupled with a big booming voice, a smart production team of Mike Chapman (The Knack, Blondie, The Sweet) and Peter Coleman, plus a selection of well chosen songs, the album became the next big thing during the sweep of 1979 into 1980.

Bishop And Gwinn - 1979 This Is Our Night
Musically it's a dynamic mixture of adult contemporary and late in the decade pop rock, and in my opinion it's Gwinn that steals the show in a vocal style that's both parts Melissa Manchester and Maxine Nightingale..

Blackfoot - 1979 Strikes
This LP cover is one of the most striking (excuse the pun) to ever hit my record collection. God damn! And then there was that black cougar/tomcat thing the following year on the cover of 'Tomcattin'. A great way to make an impression, and that's exactly the sort of thing that Jacksonville's Blackfoot got right during their heyday.

Blackhorse - 1979 Blackhorse
Blackhorse were a great Texan three-piece band, who operated out of the Fort Worth/Dallas area during the seventies. The band, formed in the early seventies were in the same territory as ZZ Top and Point Blank, playing near flawless 'Texan boogie'.

Blackjack (USA) - 1979 Blackjack
One important stop on Michael Bolton's path to stardom was his two album tenure with Blackjack, a forerunner to Bolton's rise to AOR icon in the 80's.

Blast - 1979 Blast
Blast is very much New York 1979 having all the flavor of that grimy, hot, smoggy, cocaine driven period and city and I'm totally serious when I say the album sounds like Ellen Foley backed by the 'Saturday Night Live' band.

Blind Date - 1979 Blind Date
Yes, Blind Date tried very hard to find their place in the power pop sweepstakes of the day. Produced by Jeff Glixman, Blind Date released just one album with an eye catching cover of a green woman on a telephone. Very new wave or 'Star Trek' depending on your persuasion, but taking the over the top quirkiness one step further..

Bliss Band - 1979 Neon Smiles
The first thing that strikes you about this album is it variation - something that was lacking in the debut. The emphasis is firmly on songs and this excellent band of musicians successfully traverse a range of musical styles.

Blue Oyster Cult - 1979 Mirrors
A new direction for BOC, after their mystical heavy metal approach had run it's course with Godzilla finally hanging up it's claws, the band took time out, and returned with a new producer in Tom Werman for 1979's 'Mirrors'.

Blue Steel - 1979 No More Lonely Nights
What do we know about this lot? Not much. However, they are here for three reasons. They play a loose style of AOR (boogie I think is a better description), they appear on the Infinity Records label, and they are obscure.

Boatz - 1979 Boatz
Boatz offer up some very tasty radio rock. Honestly, I wonder why so little attention has been given to this album in light of the excellent AOR found herein. Time to correct this injustice and say this is one of the best AOR/Pop albums of 1979 and definitely one you should seek out post haste!

Bottles, The - 1979 The Bottles
There was nothing fussy about the music of The Bottles - essentially a duo of Peter Bayless and Jefery Levy. The album has a very American and down to earth sound similar to Dwight Twilley and maybe even a dash of power pop darlings Big Star.

Boulder - 1979 Boulder
This LP contains some good material. It is a listenable album of radio rock, in the mould of Couchois and Buckeye.

Breathless - 1979 Breathless
Breathless, a Cleveland based band were an accident just waiting to happen. That's how the story goes according to main-man Jonah Koslen, who at that stage of his burgeoning career had just walked away from a stint with the Michael Stanley Band.

Broughtons, The - 1979 Parle Vous English?
Progressives The Edgar Broughton Band came out of the same hazy, greasy haired, chemical ingesting London underground scene that gave birth to Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Hide Tide and numerous other heavy-handed jam outfits. By 1976, it was over and none too soon in the year of punk, but Edgar and his brother Steve obviously paid attention to the prevailing winds and reformed as 'The Broughtons' with a fresh batch of musicians and thankfully, a new sound.

Browne, Duncan - 1979 Streets Of Fire
A while back we reviewed the first Metro album from 1976 which featured the duo of Duncan Browne and Peter Godwin. Browne left to pursue a solo career. In hindsight, Browne's decision was a right one releasing two superb albums 'The Wild Places' in 1978 and a year later 'Streets Of Fire' which unbelievably would be his last album.

Buckeye - 1979 Buckeye
Buckeye have their soft rock origins in Los Angeles, where a bunch of other bands playing a similar style like Couchois, Gulliver and Sneaker were making inroads as well. They bring together a very tight selection of softer melodic rock tunes that sound reasonable even some 25 years later. Buckeye easily veer between 70's rock and pomp with aplomb.

Bullseye - 1979 On Target
Bullseye's style features that late 70's vibe prevalent on a number of recordings from that era. Lot's of stabbing pianos and twin guitar riffing. On some songs they deviate to a southern rock sound with impressive results, on other occasions they dip into metro/urban power pop.

Carillo - 1979 Street Of Dreams
My biggest complaint on 'Street of Dreams' is rather poor production. It just sounds dull and lifeless of course the material is no help.

Cars, The - 1979 Candy-O
Released in June 1979 with a stunning cover by renowned pin-up artist Alberto Vargas and backed by a summer-ready single 'Let's Go'; reaction to the album from the press was lukewarm at best but yet there's a lot of appeal to 'Candy-O'

Cassidy, Shaun - 1979 Room Service
As described in excellent detail in an earlier review by Eric, Shaun Cassidy's fleeting moment of pop stardom in the late 70's was punctuated by some excellent recordings, which veered from pop to a more sophisticated blend of melodic rock. The latter dominating this particular album..

Cerrone - 1979 V: Angelina
Here's an artist I'm sure most rock music collectors have passed over, if not due to his 'bad taste' album covers early on, then for the Euro disco music Cerrone dabbles in.

Charlie - 1979 Fight Dirty
'Lines' put Charlie in a good position for rock dominance with solid tour and radio support across the U.S., but what the heck happened? Simply put 'Fight Dirty' was a mess of an album, and when the disco beats kick in and you have to wonder if this is even the same band..

Chilliwack - 1979 Breakdown In Paradise
19729 was a year of transition for Canadian band Chilliwack. It marked their eighth release, it would also be their last for Canadian label Mushroom..

Chopper - 1979 Chopper
Not a band name you'd think is synonomous with all things melodic. Chopper conjures up images of bikies, Jack Daniels, and blues soaked hard rock. However, not with these guys, as it's nice, if at times mellow melodic rock all the way.

Citadel - 1979 Citadel
No, not related to Starcastle in any way nor is there a connection to the late 80's Ameriprog band Citadel, these guys came from somewhere on the U.S East Coast. Just a guess of course..

City Boy - 1979 The Day The Earth Caught Fire
This is one of those great late 70's records that should have sold massive quantities, gone triple platinum and been in every household from Rotterdam to Peoria filed neatly with 'Breakfast In America', 'Rumours', 'Hotel California' and 'Highway To Hell', but it was not to be..

Clark, Michael - 1979 Save The Night
If Dave Mason, Michael Johnson and a less artful Chris Rea ring your musical bell, then by all means search high and low for a copy of this LP, but don't expect to be blown away.

Conaway, Jeff - 1979 Jeff Conaway
Recognize this guy? For better and more often for worse Jeff Conaway has appeared on TV and movie screens for over 30 years. We go back to 1979, when Conaway was something of a sex symbol and had a lot going for him with this album under the direction of Bruce Springsteen producer Mike Appel; a first step to a music career that never was.

Costello, Elvis (And The Attractions) - 1979 Armed Forces
Is Elvis Costello a little bit too left field for GDM? Well an album that contains melody, heartbreak, beautiful hooks, all that makes up a great AOR album? Well of course this isn't, this is an album that has all those qualities but coming from a distinct different direction but an album that I put in my favourites alongside the more expected Journey, Boston, Queen and Dio deliveries.

Couchois - 1979 Couchois
Couchois (pronunced Ku-Shwa) are a band blessed with excellent multi-part harmonies, whilst plying a style that sees them cross swords with Pablo Cruise, Ambrosia and Firefall on their quieter moments, and perhaps Santana on their rockier parts.

Crazy Dog - 1979 Crazy Dog
The closest comparison I can make for Crazy Dog is like a harder and less pompier version of Roadmaster, though there are keyboards on this record. That should interest a few of you no doubt.

Crimson Tide - 1979 Reckless Love
Crimson Tide's music is a swipe at the late seventies hard rock scene, which sees many contemporaries thrown in for comparison. Sure, there's a southern blend, but there's also latin rhythms, blues, and keyboard based AOR, the latter being only a mild flavour.

Cross, Christopher - 1979 Christopher Cross
From Texas, Christopher Cross (real name Christopher Geppert) came out of nowhere in 1979 to grace us with this near perfect set of smooth radio oriented West Coast/pop.

Crowcuss - 1979 Starting To Show
AOR credibility indeed and Crowcuss was a band that should have stood cowboy boot to snowshoe with Western Canadian mainstays Streetheart, Harlequin and Prism, filling Hockey arenas from Victoria to Thunder Bay.. and to thunderous applause on their own, but it was not be.

Curry, Tim - 1979 Fearless
Is this an undiscovered AOR classic? Not by any stretch of the imagination. But it isn't a total loss either.